High blood pressure affects millions of people in the UK increasing the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart failure.
As far back as 2004 research published in the British Medical Journal revealed that people who monitor their blood pressure at home have better blood pressure control. The paper, “Blood pressure control by home monitoring..” shows clear evidence that patient involvement in the monitoring of blood pressure brings better results than those monitored solely at their surgery or clinic.
High blood pressure usually has no symptoms.
The only way for you to know if you have normal, high or low blood pressure is to have it measured
You can measure your blood pressure in your own home ideally with a reliable, accurate blood pressure monitor.
The information below is intended to help you make an informed purchase should you decide to buy a machine to use at home.
For ease of use machines can be fully automatic and measure blood pressure correctly on the upper arm at heart level. The readings are given on a digital display and can be stored in the monitor’s memory or printed out. There are many different types of machines available however the standards of accuracy may vary. The information on these pages will hopefully help you make an informed decision on your purchase – which machines are best, where to buy them from trusted online stores and how to use the blood pressure monitor correctly.
Sometimes your blood pressure is raised when taken in a clinical or medical environment, such as your doctor’s surgery. This is called white coat hypertension and can be caused by feeling anxious, or by being in a busy or noisy environment. Blood pressure readings taken at home are often lower than those taken at a doctor’s surgery, whether a doctor or a nurse takes them. Readings taken away from the clinic are now seen to give a more accurate picture of your normal blood pressure.
Staff taking general enquiries at the Blood Pressure Association became aware that increasingly people are measuring their own blood pressure at home, and are keen to know what machines are recommended. There is a wide range of machines available to the public. If you are considering buying a blood pressure monitor it is important that you make an informed purchase, it is worth investigating the quality, types and check prices before you buy a machine for home use.
Details of blood pressure monitors suitable for home use, compiled by the British Hypertension Society (BHS) are available on their Web site you may find it a useful guide when you buy a blood pressure monitor. All of the monitors on this list are digital upper arm monitors and have been through independent testing shown in research to be accurate and are currently available.
To access the current British Hypertension Society list of Automatic Digital Blood Pressure Devices for Home use click here
According the the British Hypertension Society website:
Wrist devices are subject to errors that are not presently evaluated in the available validation protocols. The most important source of error with wrist devices is the position of the arm in relation to the heart. A wrist device may fulfil the accuracy criteria of a validation protocol when strict attention is paid to having the wrist at heart level but in home use this may not happen and as a consequence the measurement can become inaccurate. For this reason validated upper arm devices are recommended in preference to wrist devices.
I check websites regularly for availability and best price on accurate machines (listed by the British Hypertension Society) and happily provide links to these sites which stock a wide range of Omron and A + D Instruments recommended machines. Leading online suppliers of blood pressure monitors are who both currently offer a price match guarantee on BHS validated machines.
For a free copy of the excellent information fact sheet “Measuring your blood pressure at home” produced by the Blood Pressure Monitoring Organisation click here
A wide range of machines are available from various online suppliers and often include free gifts and promotions (free pedometers or First Aid Kits are often available)
Omron, Microlife and A+D Instruments: Machines approved by the British Hypertension Society. See the entire list of BHS approved blood pressure monitors here or choose from the selected machines below.
Online UK distributors of medical equipment to both medical professionals and individual home users include AMAZON and The First Aid Warehouse/
Lloyds Chemist sell there own brand machines as well as regularly featuring top models from leading manufacturers
These companies stock a wide range of blood pressure monitors including automatic digital machines validated for accuracy by the British Hypertension Society BHS. They consistently score high on excellent value for money and high quality service. They stock blood pressure machines that the British Hypertension Society recommend – Microlife, Omron and A and D Instruments – accurate monitors for home use and regularly include promotions with their sales. Visit the First Aid Warehouse blood pressure monitor department.
It is also worth checking which Omron monitors are available at Amazon – see the current range of Omron monitors available from Amazon
Omron M6 Comfort upper arm digital automatic blood pressure monitor is a good value for money machine – please check the site for details of special free gift promations.
Read full details of the Omron M6 Monitor
The Omron M7 is the perfect device for all users interested in an upper arm monitor that is easy to use and extremely comfortable. The device comes with the unique ML comfort cuff. This cuff fits all, normal adult size (from 22cm) to the very large arm size of 42 cm. So it can be used by different people in one family or by professionals having different patients. The Omron M7 Blood pressure Monitor is another Omron machine that is reliable -read more about the Omron 7 blood pressure monitor…
Follow this link to see details of the very latest Omron M10 Blood Pressure Monitor
A and D UA-787 automatic machine £59.99 inc vat at First Aid Warehouse
A & D 787L (Large Cuff included) is slightly more expensive and is available a
Read more about selected A and D Models here
Microlife 123 Blood Pressure monitor is validated by the British Hypertension Society.
It is a simple and easy to use affordable blood pressure monitor, as the name suggests it is as easy as 123
The Microlife 123 is economically priced online. Check out Microlife monitors on Amazon for prices and availability.
The Microlife BP3AC has recently been clinically approved and is also now in stock.
Most people use the standard size cuff that comes with the monitor and get an accurate reading. However, some people have very thin or very large arms and a standard size cuff may produce inaccurate readings. Most machines come with a standard cuff but you can buy larger or smaller cuffs from medical suppliers to ensure a proper fit.
The Blood Pressure Association is represented on government committees to extend and update the standards used to measure the accuracy of blood pressure monitors available to the general consumer. The Blood Pressure Association is working with the Medical Devices Agency (part of the Department of Health), and British Standards Institute to try and ensure that all home medical equipment including blood pressure monitors are tested for accuracy.
The Blood Pressure Association’s National Blood Pressure Testing week – “know your numbers” campaign runs during the second week of September each year.
Visit their website to see where you can have you blood pressure checked for free.